16 Aug 2022

Titanic boost for Limerick's new Rugby Experience - designer of Belfast attraction comes on board

Titanic boost for Limerick's new Rugby Experience - designer of Belfast attraction comes  on board

The finishing touches are being put to the exterior of the development at O'Connell Street

THE design firm responsible for Belfast’s Titanic attraction and Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse have been put in place at the city’s new International Rugby Experience.

Barry Hannon, the chief executive of the project, which it's hoped will draw 100,000 people-a-year to Limerick, said it’s now “all systems go” for an opening of the site in O’Connell Street this November, as builders shift to high-gear to complete the interior of the scheme.

The renowned museum and visitor attraction design firm is working on many other major projects across the world – including right here in Limerick at the Rugby Experience, which is chaired by Munster rugby legend Paul O’Connell.

And Mr Hannon hopes that it’s work in regenerating areas of Belfast and Dublin can be replicated in the city centre.

In an exclusive interview with the Limerick Leader, he said: “We wanted a proven commodity. If you take the Dublin story, the Belfast story, you’re bringing people back to a place in two big cities where people were not going anymore. This was our ambition here.”

He said the experience of Limerick city centre is “evolving” and an “experience” based economy is necessary to draw people in.

“At each step along the way, the question we’ve asked is how can we make this the best it can be,” the chief executive added.

Mr Hannon said a “landmark” has been reached with the exterior of the building now been completed. The fit-out of the interior will now take place, ahead of Event staff moving on site to complete the exhibition.

The International Rugby Experience will be a family attraction that will last about 90 minutes with a number of digital galleries looking at moments in rugby, players, teams, history and great moments in rugby. There will be civic spaces and meeting rooms in the centre to allow local groups to run events.

In the coming months, recruitment will begin for approximately 50 on-site staff at the visitor attraction, with roles being created in marketing, finance, retail, hospitality, alongside tour guides and event staff.

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